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The Shira Route is a difficult route that begins in the west, at Shira Gate. What is unique about Shira is that the first section of the trail is not hiked, but rather driven. Therefore, climbers using Shira will miss out on hiking up one of Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones, the rain forest. An off road vehicle transports climbers to the Shira gate, located at 11,500 feet, where the hike begins to Simba Camp. This is a sizable altitude gain for someone who slept at Moshi or Arusha on their previous night. Complications from altitude can occur due to failed acclimatization.

The route takes six days minimum to complete, although seven days is recommended. The descent is down Mweka, in the south-east. Because the starting point is far from Moshi and Arusha, it is more expensive to climb this route due to the added transportation cost of getting climbers to the gate. Scenicaly, Shira is beautiful because it crosses the spectacular Shira Plateau, and then combines with the Machame route to share its viewpoints around the southern circuit. Shira has low traffic until it combines with Machame.

The route takes six days minimum to complete, although seven days is recommended. The descent is down Mweka, in the south-east. Because the starting point is far from Moshi and Arusha, it is more expensive to climb this route due to the added transportation cost of getting climbers to the gate. Scenicaly, Shira is beautiful because it crosses the spectacular Shira Plateau, and then combines with the Machame route to share its viewpoints around the southern circuit. Shira has low traffic until it combines with Machame.

Itineraries

Day 1

Londorossi gate – Shira camp (3600m)

The day of walking that begins from Londorossi National Park gate (2,250 m.) through farmland and plantations, and continues climbing steadily on a broad track through shrub forest and stands of giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau (3,350 m.) The views across the surrounding plains open out as we climb and the area is home to a variety of game including buffalo. Our first camp is in the centre of the plateau at “Shira One” (3,550 m.) [3-4 hours walking]

Day 2

Shira two Camp (3840m)

After breakfast continue hike east across the Shira Plateau past the Shira Cathedral towards Shira Two camp. We only gain 700 feet in elevation – this allows us to acclimatize slowly to the altitude. The views of the plateau are nothing less than spectacular. Overnight at Shira two camp 3850m.

Day 3

Barranco (3950m)

Today is the last of the “easy days”. It is about a 7-hour superb hike. We pass the Lava Tower, around the southern flank of Kibo, and slowly descend into the spectacular Barranco Valley, interspersed with giant lobelia and senecia plants. After arriving at our most spectacular campsite, everyone stands in awe at the foot of Kibo Peak, looming high above, on our left. Our camp is only 465 feet higher than where we were last night, but during the day, we will have climbed to just over 14,000 feet. This is one of our most valuable days for acclimatization.

Day 4

Karanga Valley (4000m)

On the eastern side of the valley, across the stream is the Barranco Wall – a 950 ft. barrier of volcanic rock. Although it is tall and looks steep, it is very easy to climb. This is our first challenge of the day. The views from the wall are nothing less than magnificent. The rest of the day is spent skirting the base of Kibo peak over our left shoulder. We descend down into the Karanga Valley, where we rest up for the night before the tough climb up to Barafu Camp.

Day 5

Barafu (4600m)

First thing, you will be making a steep hike out of the valley. The air starts getting quite thin, and you will be running short of breath. It is a tough, but rewarding uphill to the rocky, craggy slopes at the camp. Barafu means, ice in Swahili, and it is extremely cold at this altitude. So, go to bed early because we will be waking you at midnight for the final leg to Uhuru Peak.

Day 6

Summit Uhuru peak (5895m) – Mweka camp (3100m)

We will start our ascent by torchlight around midnight so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735 m.), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m.), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3,800 m.) Millennium. Most of us will be too tired to notice the beauty of the forest surrounding. We spend our last night on the mountain at Mweka Camp.

Day 7

Mweka Camp 3,100 m/10,170 ft to Mweka Gate 1,980 m/6,500 ft to Arusha (890 m/2,920 ft)

After a deserved strong breakfast it is a short scenic 3-hours hike back to the park gate. Please all tips to porters and guides is given once all crew and the clients gears reached the mweka gate safely, but remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In Mweka Village a delicious hot lunch will be served after which you are driven back to Arusha for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a nice hotel in Arusha.

  • Accommodation before and after the climb
  • Qualified guides with mountain crew
  • National park fees
  • Hut/camping fees and tents
  • Tents foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment, and (Cutlery / Crockery) eating utensils.
  • Rescue fees (required by the National Park)
  • Pulse oximeters
  • First aid kit
  • Guides, porters, cook, waiter salaries
  • Boiled water on the mountain
  • Airport transfers (JRO – Kilimanjaro International Airports)
  • All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Guides, porters, waiter, cook accommodation and entry fees on the mountain
  • Gear for your climb, Some equipment is available for rent!
  • Items of personal nature (expenses)
  • Guides, Porters, Cook & Waiters tips
  • Meals and drinks not specified
  • Mountain equipment (eg sleeping bags)
  • Emergency Oxygen
  • Additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included
  • Extra activities (waterfall tour, cultural village visit).
  • Visa fees & travel insurance.
  • Flight tickets.

Anybody who are able to run for at least half an hour without feeling shortness of breath. You should also be able to walk for at least 2 hours in hilly terrains without feeling overly exhausted. No one with a sore throat, cold of breathing problems should go beyond 3000m. However, anybody with heart or lung problems should consult his/her physician before attempting to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is during the dry season, i.e., from June to early November and from December to end of March. However with changing weather patterns, the chances of getting a clear sky during your climb in November and April is rare.

The climb to Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb. No mountaineering equipment is require to summit Kilimanjaro. Anyone in good physical condition can reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

No, you are not required to bring filtering systems or purification tablets, our climbing staff will provide you with plenty of purified drinking water during your trek.

Our mountain crews are in constant radio communication with us via ICOM radios so if anything goes wrong on your trekking we are informed. Also, the cell reception on the mountain has improved so we can effectively communicate with our teams using mobile phones.

Yes we do have a kit list of all the items you will require for your climb. You can rent sleeping bags, parkas, gaiters, trekking poles, etc. Just e-mail us your list of needs, and we will reserve these items for provide you upon your arrival.

The symptoms of altitude sickness can appear while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, in all climbers irrespective of their age and/or fitness level. Due to which, most climbers choose to use Diamox (Acetazolamide), a medication that diminishes headache, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath which occur when climbing to high altitudes. Side effects include a tingling sensation in fingertips and on the face, and frequent urination.

Yes. The price also contains the salary of a porter, who is assigned to carry the oxygen tanks during your summit attempt.